Living the Frugal Life

Chicago Children in Chinatown

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Chicago enjoyed some blissfully mild weather this past weekend. On Saturday we took a nice family walk to Lincoln Park along Lake Michigan. No coats, no hats, no problems! Sunday was equally as nice, so I wanted to take the kids on another trek around our city. Unfortunately, Chris had to teach a class, so [...]


Keeping Busy in the City

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It has been a long month. Earlier this summer, our landlord let us know that she needed to sell the home we were renting.  We didn’t want to move, so we scraped and scrambled to purchase our modest city home.  Many people wouldn’t think it is big enough for a family with four kids, but [...]


What’s Old is New

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One of the best parts about the school year that just ended is the friendship I formed with the mom of one of Evie’s kindergarten classmates.  Amy also has four kids, but her youngest is the age of my oldest, which means that she has tons of helpful advice to share.  She knows plenty of [...]


Banana Oatmeal Muffins

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Chris just finished doing our taxes.  I used to love doing the taxes (really!), but ever since Chris ventured into entrepreneurship everything has become so complicated so now April 15 is his deadline.  Unfortunately, this year we owe Uncle Sam a much heftier sum than we were expecting, so now we have to rein in the [...]


Baby Clothes

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With just about two months until Baby #4 arrives, the all too familiar nesting instinct is starting to kick in.  My sister Colleen returned our co-sleeper to us now that her son has outgrown it, so Chris and the kids set it up a few days ago.  I can’t believe our next little man will [...]


The Best $12 I’ll Spend All Summer

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My sister Caitie recently hosted a super fun birthday party at her house for her son Danny. Despite a bounce house, cupcakes, toys galore and kids everywhere, little Vivian spent the entire party playing at a water table.  It was filled with little rubber duckies that kept her laughing, and by the end of the [...]


Pricey Peppers for a Pittance

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Every week I travel to a few different grocery stores.  We stick to a very strict $150/week grocery budget, and I do my absolute best to stock our kitchen with plenty of seasonal and organic food.  If I want to stay on budget, I can’t rely on just one store to fill our needs.  I [...]


Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Big City

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Today was absolutely beautiful. Warm sunshine, gentle breeze, clean air, perfect fall weather.  As any Chicagoan knows, its a good idea to take full advantage of weather like this.  Next week it could very easily freeze! I was determined to spend the entire afternoon outdoors, but without a traditional backyard I need to get creative.  [...]


Money Well Spent

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We went out to my parents’ house today.  A check-engine light lit up on our dashboard last week, and along with my recent dead battery experience I thought it would be wise to get the car checked out.  An honest and friendly dealership in my hometown diagnosed the problem (something about an air compressor?), and [...]


Salmon Salad on a Budget

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Chris and I are always looking for ways to live and eat well on our budget.  I go out of my way to shop at a few different grocery stores to make every dollar count, and we pick up farm-fresh food from our co-op twice a month.  Last week Chris spotted a deal for wild-caught [...]


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